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Harpmary 02-01-2010 12:07 PM

2000 Catalina 250 Keel vs. 1989 Pearson 27'
Hi, My husband and I are looking to buy our first sailboat. We'd be sailing on the Chesapeake near the South River/Annapolis. We're looking at used boats for our family of 4.

We've found two recently that we like - a year 2000 Catalina 250 keel (25') and a 1989 Pearson Sloop 27'. However, as you would expect - I like one and my husband likes the other.

Can any one offer their thoughts on a 1989 Pearson vs. a 2000 Catalina? Does the extra 2 feet (25' vs. 27') really make much of a difference? We know Pearsons are well built boats, but in terms of quality are we better off getting a newer model boat (the Catalina), or a boat with a solid reputation for its construction?


scottyt 02-01-2010 01:04 PM

i would go with the pearson. yes 2 feet makes a difference because it also gets wider with length. i would think the big thing you would want is if one has a better galley, and a holding tank vrs a porta potty.

now we also need to think long term maintenance type stuff. how old are the sails on both boats, how about the rigging. a 20 year old boat is getting to the point where it will need new standing rigging, maybe needs its now. to get new sails and rigging you can spend easily 4 grand, but if both boats need new sails then thats a wash. also does either boat have an inboard motor vrs an out board, because if it has an inboard that is having problems that can be costly too. but a diesel will be cheaper to run in the long run

7Psych 02-01-2010 01:31 PM

Have a 2000 Catalina 250 with inboard Diesel for sale..IMMACULATE CONDITION...I purchased a Sabre. See the boat at Ocean Gate Yacht Sales on line, in New Jersey.

CalebD 02-01-2010 01:45 PM

Everything scottyt said but then I am a sucker for older boats anyway. Sleeping 4 on a Cat. 25 may be tight. I suggest you go into the cabins of both boats and figure out how you might get 4 bodies places to sleep. Have you looked at any Cat. 30s?
Another consideration for the area you will be sailing in is draft or keel depth. Do either of these boats have a retractable center board? Even with a draft of 4' you will still find the bottom eventually, trust me. Some of the nicer 'gunk holes' are guarded by pretty thin water.
The bottom line is it does not matter which boat we would choose. You will have to make your own choice for your own reasons.

Harpmary 02-01-2010 01:48 PM

Thanks for the quick replies. Some specs:

Pearson: Westerbeke Diesel Engine (12hp) - don't know condition of sails or rigging at the moment. Just know that the seller claims their in good condition.

Catalina: Yanmar Diesel 1 GM with Saildrive; Mainsail in excellent condition (nothing on rigging)

Harpmary 02-01-2010 01:52 PM

CalebD - Good points. We'd love a retractable keel. We're also looking at Seawards (found a used 2005 and are considering also buying new). Unfortunately there are not many used Seawards out there (and there were a couple of years that Nick Hake didn't make the boats and their quality declined - so we're trying to avoid those years.

jackytdunaway 02-01-2010 02:35 PM

I love my '87 P-27. it has a lot of room.. the newer boat sounds nice but i bet it cost a lot more and in the end you have to get what is the most comfortable.

scottyt 02-01-2010 02:39 PM

westerbreaks are good motors and so are the yanmars, but i would consider a sail drive a down side due to issues they have. just for your knowledge a basic main sail for a 27 foot boat is under a thousand. if you are handy you an do a do it your self standing rigging job for about a 100 per wire on a 27 foot boat ( assuming the turnbuckles are in good shape ), most boats will have 8 wires for standing rigging.

josrulz 02-01-2010 02:57 PM

The debate between newer/smaller vs. older/bigger is a common one, and one that we had ourselves. When we were boat shopping about a year and half ago, you could get a late 90s Catalina 28 for the same price as a early 80s Sabre 34. We chose the Sabre 34. That doesn't mean it's the right decision, just the right one for us. There's something to be said for a much newer boat.

If it were me, and the Pearson was in very nice condition, I'd go with the Pearson because of its size, and because I like that era of Pearsons (nothing against Catalinas though). But condition condition condition--most important regardless of which boat you go with.

By the way, we're on the South River too. Do you live in the area? Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

7Psych 02-01-2010 03:32 PM

Harpmary.....I sent you a private message.

Thank you.

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